In Ohio early voting is underway for an initiative to legalize marijuana, but despite the election being three weeks away Ohio Senate President Matt Huffman is already promising to ignore the will of his constituents.
In recent comments on the Senate floor, Senate President Matt Huffman said that if voters approve Issue 2 on November 7, it will be “coming right back before this body”, indicating the measure and its provisions could be altered or even repealed.
Huffman says he “will advocate for reviewing it and repealing things or changing things that are in it”. He says if Issue 2 does pass, “We’re going to have a mental health crisis on our hands. We are going to pay for this for years and years and years, and it’s only going to get worse.”
Polling released this week found that 57% of likely Ohio voters plan to vote “yes” on Issue 2. These results are similar to polling released in August which found that 59% of voters support legalizing marijuana, and a poll released last month found that support for marijuana legalization among likely Ohio voters was even higher at 67%.
Despite such a considerable majority of voters supporting the idea, the full Senate passed a resolution last week encouraging voters to reject Issue 2.
If voters agree it should become law, Issue 2 will legalize the personal possession of up to two and a half ounces of dried cannabis, and up to 15 grams of marijuana concentrates, with licensed marijuana retail outlets allowed to sell marijuana and marijuana products. Issue 2 would also allow those 21 and older to grow up to six marijuana plants at a private residence, or up to 12 plants per household if more than one person is living there.
“If Issue 2 passes, there will be more teenagers in the state of Ohio committing suicide,” said Huffman, with no evidence to back his claim. “And our reaction to that will not be, ‘Let’s make marijuana illegal,’ because by that time, more people will be making lots of money. It will be, ‘Maybe we should hire drug counselors, get into the schools, talk about kids not taking drugs.’ But by then it will be too late. It’ll be even more part of our culture. And no, I’m not a scientist, but I’m a person who can look at facts and listen to scientists and know that that’s true.”
For those who do not want Ohio’s Senate to ignore the will of voters and considerably alter or repeal Issue 2 if it’s approved by voters, you can contact Senate President Matt Huffman by clicking here.